Story told by her daughter, Kristina Skiff.
I received an unexpected call from my sister about my mother’s hospitalization. Just a day earlier, she had returned home from work feeling unwell, complaining of diarrhea and a persistent stomach ache. The next day, she was unable to even get out of bed and had to crawl to the phone early in the evening to call my father. My sister advised me not to rush to the hospital, as she thought everything was okay.
Emergency surgery was scheduled for the following day, and she was put under anesthesia. Tragically, she never regained consciousness. I arrived just as she went into code blue, her body bloated due to the fluids they were administering. The surgeons conducted an extensive search of her gastrointestinal area but couldn’t identify the source of the infection. They decided to remove a portion of her colon, hoping it might help. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Eventually, they had to take her off life support, as she would have been left in a brain-dead state, offering her morphine for comfort. She entered the hospital on a Friday evening and passed away on a Sunday evening.
The medical team diagnosed sepsis as the cause but did not know the cause of the infection. My mother had a colonoscopy a few weeks earlier, and I suspect something may have gone awry during that procedure. However, they suggested it might have been a combination of cancer pressing on her colon alongside diverticulitis, which allowed toxins to infect her.
I wish I had known her symptoms were signs of sepsis as I would have advocated for my mother better and ensured I was immediately present with her at the hospital.